Leaving my heart in NZ

Knowing what I’m like for getting distracted, I’m currently sitting in my sweaty, post jog running gear and writing this before I even take a shower. For those of you thinking ‘ewwwhhh the filthy bugger’ well, I’m telling you it’s this or nothing, because as soon as I’ve had a shower, I’ve a huge pile of washing to tend to, a book to finish reading and a documentary series to watch for uni, hence stinky blog writing.

Having returned from and absolutely incredible week in New Zealand, it’s actually rather difficult to describe the emotions I’m feeling right now. My current mood is a mixed broth of positive and negative, which is a really bizarre feeling to have. What I can say with certainty however, is that I’m astronomically better than I was prior to this trip. My mother always said that sea air’s good for you. Having had a good dose of that, along with crisp mountain air too, I gotta say that ‘our Eileen’ was right.

Not only ‘our Eileen’ but I guess I also have to issue some credit to my good friend Mr Woodburn. Steve, you were right. (God damn it!) the South Island of New Zealand may very well be my spiritual home; changing seasons, friendly people, abundance of wildlife, stunning green hills, crystal clear waters, astounding glaciers and endless mountains for little legs to climb. As you can tell, I’m something of a fan of the place.

The first 3/4 of my trip was spent in the company of my beloved cousin Eve. Prior to meeting up in Queenstown I don’t think I had seen Eve in approximately 4 years. Needless to say that once my worry wart of a brain had finally pushed uni concerns into the background, anxiety over meeting up with Eve took centre stage- what if we didn’t want to do the same things? What if we couldn’t find anything to talk about? What if we had a fall out?…All thoughts which were totally unwarranted. Turns out that, despite childhood differences, Eve and I have both developed into very similar women. Being in the company of such a wonderful soul for 5 whole days and nights has really put me back on track. I sincerely hope to embark upon some more adventures with that sparkling -I would say little but she’s taller than me (not difficult I know- before you say it)- gem in the future. During the latter section of the get away I traded Eve in for my Kiwi friend Jordan. Once again I was apprehensive as to whether he and I would get along a second time around. Once again I was being utterly ridiculous and I found that things were exactly as they’d been when I last saw him.  I have to say that I find it very sad that I may have said goodbye to him for the last time. It’s not often that you find someone who has the same sarcastic sense of humour and false arrogance to that of your UK based Sunday drinking buddy.  That said, I think that I may have developed something of a problem in surrounding myself with cocky, arrogant, misanthropist men. That’s something that shall need to be addressed.

Returning from my little tangent there, the second trip to NZ has surpassed the first- and that was pretty darn great. That said, every adventure has to have its calamities and this was certainly no exception. The first evening Eve and I picked up a $200 fine for sleeping in the van in a carpark which didn’t permit ‘freedom camping’. Luckily she and I are both rather easy going and very much ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’…or should I say ‘sweat the small stuff and don’t give two hoots about the stuff normal people get annoyed with’.  I guess we both just figured we’d have one less fancy meal out and one more beans on toast in the van to balance the coffers.  We also made a trip up to the gigantic Tasman glacier but due to extremely crappy weather could barely see it. The following day the rain persisted all through the night, to the point of infiltrating our cosy 4 wheeled sleeping quarters. Luckily I tend to sleep curled up in a tight ball and only discovered the full damage done by the leak once I stretched my legs out in the morning. From about my knees down, my legs and feet were a tad cold and wet. The final ‘mishap’ if it can even really be called that was encountered when Jordan and I had to upgrade the diesel mileage allowance of the car. Turns out that Eve and I had gone over the previous tax allowance by a few Kilometers which Jordan promptly advised would induce a somewhat hefty fine of $400ish should we be pulled over by the police. Feeling like I’ve already been issued with enough fines to last me lifetime, topping up the mileage became priority #1 after dropping Eve at the airport. The problem here was that completing vehicle admin type tasks generally involves having the name and contact details of the registered owner-neither of which either Jordan or I knew- queue postoffice attendant surveying us as though we were a couple committing grand theft auto. Despite being a bit of a ‘ball ache’, it all got sorted in the end….oh also, I say that’s the final mishap but on the last day I also insisted that we walk along a beach next to some seal colonies. I know you’re probably thinking ‘where is the mishap there?’ Well, I’ll tell you that when you’re having to squeeze through a small gap between two hefty sleeping seals, who don’t respond all too kindly to being disturbed from their slumber, it’s pretty damn terrifying. At least it is when you are doing this for around an hour because there are bloody hundreds of the stinky things.

Hmmm which reminds me, talking about smelly blubbery beings, I’ve still not had my shower so I better wrap this up. I can’t be sure when I’ll next have brain capacity to deal with extra curricular life but when I do, you guys will be the first to get all of the gory details. G’night folks…

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Oh wait, one last thing before I toodle off – First result of the trimester = 95%. Even my pond scum, bottom feeding, low self esteem has experienced a teeny boost from that one. Hopefully the next two won’t kick it back into its place.

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